1. Twenty-seven years ago today, on January 28, 1986, the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded during its 10th flight mission (STS-51-L), just 73 seconds after liftoff. The mission was originally scheduled to begin on January 22, 1986, but it had to be rescheduled several times before the Challenger finally departed from Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Jan. 28. After the failure of an O-ring seal on one of the shuttle’s Solid Rocket Boosters, the vessel burst into flames and exploded. The tragic events were captured during a live broadcast, and all seven crew members lost their lives.  

    Today in history: Looking back at the 1986 Challenger Shuttle disaster

    Photo: NASA

     

  2. Atlantis currently traveling at 12,000 miles per hour, four miles a second

     

  3. We have liftoff

     

  4. "I’m not paying for any more matches…"

    Scott Stantis, copyright 2011 Tribune Media Services

     

  5. nbcnightlynews:

    Watch Live as NASA launches the shuttle Atlantis for the final space shuttle mission.

    (via theatlantic)

     

  6. NASA’s shuttle program is scheduled to get its final sendoff Friday, with the launch of Atlantis. While critics debate the future of NASA, families and fans have driven miles and camped out near the Kennedy Space Center in Florida in the hopes of catching a glimpse of the last space shuttle to take flight. More than 350 people from 16 countries have flown on the shuttles, and now, after four decades, eight presidents, 135 launches, billions of dollars, and two major tragedies, it’s curtains. Here, a look back at the program’s major milestones

     

  7. How many NASA employees does it take to form a human space shuttle?

    Thousands of NASA Kennedy Space Center employees gathered in an empty parking lot last week to honor the end of the 30-year space shuttle program by assembling themselves into the shape of a “human space shuttle.” The space shuttle program will wind down later this year, when the Atlantis shuttle launches into orbit in June. Thereafter, NASA will focus on sending a human expedition to an asteroid by 2025.

    Check out the time-lapse video of the event.